Capacity development strategies
Fragile states and capacity development
Fragile states are different – their context is key in capacity development.
There are four types of fragile states, categorized by their lack of capacity and political will, and their risk of conflict. These are states in a situation of deterioration, arrested development, post-conflict transition and early recovery. A key issue is whether these types of fragile states are qualitatively different from other developing countries. If so, what support strategies are most likely to be efficient? Brinkerhoff (2007) sees the capacity dimension as crucial because fragile states suffer from chronically weak basic security, service delivery, economic opportunities and legitimacy. As a consequence, they may not respond well to traditional aid strategies. According to World Bank research (2002), the persisting patterns of conflict and the high expectations for a ‘peace dividend’ make capacity development a complex, non-linear and time-consuming process. This implies a different and more important role for development partners, since fragile states may not have the capacity to engage in a process based on national ownership.